“Being a human rights defender for me is made up of two important parts: supporting small-scale farming communities from my own experience as a farmer and being available to report what is happening in the communities.
There is always a certain fear about reporting but it is important to understand the reality of what is happening…even if it brings threats. It is an important commitment because it helps to improve lives …
The first thing I do every day is to think about the regions, about the environment and a better life for the children there… I think about what needs to be done.
In a defender’s life there is a reason for carrying on, a reason for fighting and a reason for living.”
Irene Ramirez has been President since 2014 of one of the most important small-scale farming organisations in the country, the Association of Small-Scale Farmers in the Cimitarra River Valley (Asociación Campesina del Valle del Rio Cimitarra – ACVC), which works to defend the human rights of small-scale farmers in the Magdalena Medio region.
She joined the organisation in 2008, after being involved in the struggle for the rights of small-scale farmers since she was a girl. As part of her work she helps to organise women farmers in the region, together with other local leaders.
PBI has been accompanying the ACVC since 2007 in its work related to the defence of land rights and peace-building in the regions.
For more information, see our magazine on women leaders.